FEMA assigns nearly $49M for University of Puerto Rico upgrades
During September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved $48.7 million in additional federal grants for 12 projects to repair several campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, the agency confirmed.
“More than a contribution to strengthen the infrastructure of the UPR, this investment will help future generations benefit from resilient facilities within the Island’s public university system. It is a great honor for the mostly local FEMA team to be part of this historic reconstruction,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero.
Nearly $14.2 million are destined to the Mayagüez campus (known as the RUM in Spanish) to repair several buildings of different departments at the college that serves 12,000 students.
In addition, more than $580,000 will cover the costs of measures to help lessen the effects of future disasters, such as strengthening the roof and improving the asphalt covering to make it more resistant, among other measures.
“As the main teaching and scientific center on the island, at the University of Puerto Rico we’re committed to improving and transforming the institution’s infrastructure,” UPR President Jorge Haddock said.
“The allocation to the RUM campus in particular, will allow us to improve areas for the benefit of our talented and outstanding members of the college band, for the faculty and also for the protection of our resources in the general library, for the benefit of present and future generations,” he said.
The recent allocation also includes $24.6 million to the Humacao campus, $4.7 million to the Utuado campus, $2.7 million to the Bayamón campus, $1.5 million to the UPR for administrative expenses and nearly $12,000 for the Arecibo campus.
Over the past three years, FEMA has awarded nearly $85 million to the UPR for 22 permanent work projects, it confirmed.
“The UPR is a distinguished institution and it is essential that the reconstruction be at the highest level so that its work of excellence continues. The teams leading Puerto Rico’s reconstruction will continue to work hand in hand with the sub-recipients to deliver the projects that provide the resilience that all communities deserve,” said Ottmar Chavez, executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, known as COR3.